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- How to Change the Short Name of a User Account in Mac OS X
- Change the name of your macOS user account and home folder
Although this procedure is more complete than the previous one, it has caveats of its own. In addition the issue mentioned above with respect to programs that store settings based on your short username, there are also programs—in fact, more programs—that store settings or preferences based on the path to your home folder. However, as before, the solution is usually as simple as viewing the settings interface for the offending program or service and changing whatever setting is causing the problem. Finally, changing the name of your home folder also has ramifications for Time Machine, which tracks files based on their paths.
If you change the name of your home folder, the path to every file in your home folder changes, so Time Machine will back up every file again. After the restart, your short username is completely changed, at least as far as Mac OS X is concerned—both your account name and the name of your home folder in the Finder have been updated. I tested the above procedure many times for this article and experienced this issue only once. If this happens to you, follow the procedure in this Apple Support article ; note that in Step 16 of the article, shortname means your new short username.
Advantages : Both your short username and your home folder in the Finder are changed; nearly-complete method of changing your short username. Disadvantages : Can result in minor issues with services and applications that store their settings or data based on your short username or the path to your home folder; you may need to fix Web Sharing for it to recognize the change in your home directory. Primarly because of the potential issues I mentioned above with respect to settings, especially among third-party software. But also because I'm hedging a bit: In the past, Apple has stored a good number of user-level settings, and even a few system-level settings related to users, as references to users' home directories; when working on ChangeShortName, my colleague James Bucanek and I regularly discovered, and had to account for, minor issues relating to such settings.
The good news is that many of the OS X settings that would break when you changed the short username in Tiger—even ones using home-directory paths—are automatically updated by the OS when you change the short username in Leopard.
I've been pleasantly surprised by how well Leopard's tools work. To create an account alias, follow these steps: Open the Accounts pane of System Preferences. You can do so from within your own account or from another account; you just need administrative access. In the list of accounts on the left, right-click or Control-click on the name of the account you want to modify and choose Advanced Options from the resulting menu. Mail will not be published required.
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How to Change the Short Name of a User Account in Mac OS X
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Starbuck says:. Each user account contains basic information. There's more information that goes into a user account, but these are the three aspects related to name and directory:. If you made a typo when setting up a user account or you want to change the name, you can do so. Just remember that there are certain limitations, the most important being that the Short Name and Home Directory name must match. This process is going to make some fundamental changes to your user account.
As a result, your user data could be at risk. That may sound over the top, but it's possible for a problem to occur during the process of making changes that causes your user data to become unavailable to you. Its permissions could be set in such a way that you no longer have access to it.
So, before beginning, take the time to ensure that you have a current backup. If possible, create both a current Time Machine backup and a bootable clone of your startup drive. If the account you're going to change is your current administrator account, you will need to first have a different, or spare administrator account to use during the process of changing account information.
After you create a spare administrator account to use:. Log out of the account you wish to make changes to, and log in to your spare administrator account. The option to Log Out is located under the Apple menu.
Change the name of your macOS user account and home folder
In the Finder window click the home directory to select it. Click again in the name of the home directory to select it for editing. Enter the new name for the home directory remember, the home directory and the short name that you'll be changing in the next few steps must match. In the Users and Groups preference pane, click the lock icon in the bottom left corner and supply your administrator password. This may be the password for the spare admin account, not your normal administrator password.
From the pop-up menu, select Advanced Options.